I did yesterday's groundwork exercises with both Scout and Joseph today, but without the stick. No problem. Actually a lot of the groundwork from yesterday didn't involve the stick anyway. But I wanted to prove to myself that the horses can do just as well if not better with no tools, or with tools of my choice (I did use a flag with Scout, just to keep him from sleeping through the whole deal).
After our first try at crawling under, I just knelt on the grass and Joseph dropped his head into my lap and closed his eyes while I gently wrapped my arms around his head and rubbed his jaw. We sat like that for several minutes. It was one of those moments that brings tears to your eyes. Joseph has never done anything quite like that.
We also worked on ground tying, which was hard for him. He wanted to follow me so bad, and every time I'd re-place him he was overdoing his movements, looking for the right thing, when all I wanted was for him to stand still. Silly boy. But when he got it, he really got it. He wasn't thrilled, but he stood still for a good long minute.
I'm not going to take Joseph back for lessons right now. I think we're right on track with the groundwork we need to do (and some goofy stuff we don't really need to do). I might take Scout and ride him. That will be a totally different kind of frustrating experience. :) Scout is a lazy bum.